Dancing with a Porcupine – Parenting wounded children without losing yourself
Parenting is hard. So what do you do when you’re parenting a child who has experienced trauma or has extra challenges? You often feel alone and inadequate. You want so much to help your child, but you are at the end of your own rope. You feel guilty that sometimes you want to just quit. What can you do — how can you make it through the day — how can you help your child while also taking care of yourself?
Maybe someone you love is parenting a traumatized child. Or perhaps you are a social worker, counselor, or other professional who sees families like these every day. You want to know how to better help them.
In Dancing with a Porcupine, Jennie Owens shares with humor and raw honesty the compelling story of her struggle to save her own life while caring for three children she and her husband adopted from foster care. How could she stay loving, giving, and forgiving in the midst of a daily battle with children acting out the rage, resentment, and pain of their own traumatic pasts?
When faith, endurance, and creativity are not enough, what’s next?
Coalition Staff Member Review
Dancing with a Porcupine is author Jennie Owens’s personal story of her family. She and her husband, Lynn, adopted three children from foster care–three wounded children with histories of trauma, that is. In shocking, stunning, and, at times heartbreaking, detail, she describes her journey of love, attachment, and healing with her two sons and daughter. The book isn’t for the faint of heart; but, then again, neither is parenting or caring for children impacted by trauma.
I am not a parent, but I know many. I know many who have birthed children, who have fostered, who have cared for relative children, who have adopted. I know a little about the complexities and realities that face these parents. I know how deeply committed they are; how much of themselves they are willing to fearlessly (or at least it seems fearless!) put out there for the best interest of the children in their care. And I know how devastating, frustrating, and thankless the job sometimes is. I admire these parents and caregivers all the more because they do things on a daily basis that I would never do myself; they make themselves vulnerable for the cause of helping children and youth heal. They are champions among us.
If you work with these parents and caregivers–if you are one of these particular kinds of champions–I recommend this book to you. Unflinchingly honest, Jennie Owens’ story will help you know that you are not alone. You will walk away feeling like someone understands your journeys and struggles.
Author: Jennie Owens, M Ed